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Thread: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attached)

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    Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attached)

    I have read so much on here that my eyes are crossing. I truly don't know what is wrong with my pool, and our dear friends are expecting to have their daughter's birthday party here in 3 days!

    Here is the background:
    I believe the pool was installed in 2000. When I bought the house, there was some staining because the pH had gotten out of whack and the heater shot rust into the pool. Over the years, the staining has gotten better.

    I have a manual cover that malfunctioned last year, so the pool was not covered over the winter. Tons of leaves gathered in the pool. We also have a giant dog that delights in putting his front end on the steps.

    I have dipped until I don't get much out in the way of leaves anymore. I thought this was going to be an easy start up. Clean cartridges, dip, brush, vac to waste, repeat, balance chemicals, swim. I got the cartridge cleaning and dipping done, started brushing and noticed that nothing was coming off the sides/bottom of the pool. I rubbed my hand over the wall, and rust colored stuff came off the pool and got on my hand but the staining remained (pics attached). I had a bazillion tadpoles, so I had to shock (4 gallons of 6% bleach). All the tadpoles are now gone.

    From reading here, I felt like I had organic staining. I don't have a good test kit, so I took a sample to the local pool place. Here are the results:
    FC 0
    CC 0
    pH 6.9
    TA 0
    CH 240
    CYA 10
    Copper .02
    Iron .24

    She said that I needed to use baking soda to raise the TA, dip more, clean, use a product called Stain free, then shock it. I left her place just ahead of the storms and then it stormed for two days, so I did not attempt to do anything in that weather.

    Yesterday, I dipped again to make sure that I got everything out. I cleaned my cartridges. They were filthy and clogged with cottony stuff from the willow trees. I had frogs again, so I put in 4 gallons of 6% bleach based upon the calculations from The Pool Calculator. I put in a bit more than the calculator recommended, because I was hoping to be able to see if that removed some of the rusty color. It did not. This morning, I also discovered a lovely leak in the intake area of the filter.

    I used my AquaChek test strips this morning. I don't have the resources to get a better test kit yet. The test strips show the following results:

    FC 10
    pH 6.2
    TA 40
    CYA 0

    I have attached pictures of the pool, the red slimey stuff on my hands, and the leaky area. As I have stated earlier, our friends plan to have a party here on Tuesday, the 28th. YIKES! Can someone please help me?

    Thank you for reading!

    -Stephani
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Picture of the leaky spot attached here:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    You need a sequestrant for the iron. Sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid, or phosphonic acid derivatives are the most effective. You also need to add enough CYA to reach 30 ppm. Brush the sides and floor of the pool and vacuum up as much of the rusty muck as you can. Honestly I don't know if you can have this pool clean in 3 days time. It will be difficult to complete the shock process without an FAS-DPD based test kit, but do the best you can. I would strongly urge you to order the test kit as soon as possible. It may seem pricy but it is an investment in your pool and in the long run less expensive than taking the sample to the pool store and buying their "solutions".
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    You need a better test kit, or very frequent trips to the pool store, if you are going to solve this problem. Nothing can save you money the way a good test kit can. You have probably already wasted enough chlorine to pay for a top notch test kit.

    You have a number of different problems going on, and things are not going to really settle down until you solve all of them. Unfortunately, some of the problems make others tricker to deal with, so it is certain to be more than three days before the pool is swimmable.

    First, you have to get your PH, TA, and CYA levels at least roughly into the normal ranges. PH should be between 7.2 and 7.8 (preferably down around 7.2 given the iron issue). TA sound be at least 60. CYA should be at least 30. With your levels where they are you are losing all of your chlorine to sunlight before it has time to have much effect on the pool.

    Then you need to get the water cleared up and levels stabilized, and then you can start working on the iron problem.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Please correct me if I am wrong:
    1) Tell friends we can't do the party on Tuesday.
    2) Raise pH to 7.2 by using 325 oz of Borax.
    3) Wait 24 hours, check water balance, and adjust TA accordingly.
    4) Use Baking soda to raise TA (if needed)
    5) Wait 24 hours, check water balance and adjust CYA accordingly.
    6) Raise CYA (if needed) using Stabilizer, Conditioner, Instant Pool Water Conditioner, Stabilizer 100, Stabilizer & Conditioner, etc

    Is that how you would recommend doing it?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    1. Cancel party
    2. Order one of the suggested kits so you can stop guessing at your issues and stay out of the pool store....who isn't helping you.
    3. read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School
    4. read "How to Shock Your Pool" up in Pool School
    5. Read them both again until you have a thorough understanding of the process.

    Once your test kit gets in,

    6. Raise pH to 7.2, it'll take about an hour. Test TA and raise to 100 if necessary with baking soda...takes about an hour.
    7. Start the shock process. Have plenty of chlorine on hand.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Since Jason said I have several issues to deal with, I would like to know what I will be looking at when all the pH, TA, and CYA are balanced. What issue will be addressed next?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Getting your water clear. That's what the shock process will do.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    I'm sorry, I didn't ask that well. After all of the water is balanced...pH, TA, CYA, FC, what is next? When the water is clear and balanced, what is next? Staining?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Update: As per the calculator, I added 326 oz of borax. It ciruclated for an hour. My neighbor has the TF-100. She offered to test my water, so we tested an hour after the addition of the borax.

    FC 3.0
    CC 1.0
    TC 4.0
    CYA 0
    pH 8.2
    TA 80
    CH 190

    Obviously, my initial pH reading was inaccurate because now my pH is too high. I am going to add 51 oz of muriatic acid to drop the pH, then test and adjust the TA.
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Yes, after the pool is cleared and balanced you can tackle the staining.
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Here are the latest numbers after getting the pH to 7.2

    FC 0
    CC .5
    TC .5
    CYA 0
    pH 7.3
    TA 60

    I have added 197 oz of baking soda to raise the TA to 100. I will wait an hour and then begin the shock process by using 6% bleach. Under the "recommended levels" it says FC should be 3-7 for a fiberglass pool. What level do you recommend I raise the FC to? (I have attached the latest pictures of the staining below.)

    Thank you so much for your continued help!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    We are finally getting somewhere! Here are the latest results:

    FC 5.5
    TC 6
    CC .5
    pH 7.2
    CYA 10-20 (could still see the dot at 20)
    TA 160

    The wate is almost clear. Most of the leaves are out, but the staining is terrible! What is my next step?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Have you used any sequestrant?
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    No, I haven't. I have just now gotten the chemicals within some sort of normal range. Would the sequestrant and AA be the next step? Do I need to let the FC bottom out? I just now got it up.
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Here is what has happened since my last post:

    I finally got my tf-100. I brushed and vac'd to waste and got the pool a lot cleaner. I cleaned the cartridges, reassembled everything and replaced the lost water. Then I tested. Here were my results:

    FC 0
    pH 7.8
    TA 210

    I used the pool calculator to determine how much muriatic acid to add to lower the pH. I put in the exact amount prescribed, but the pH dropped to 6.8. Then I had to raise the pH using borax. Once I got it back to 7.2, I started the AA treatment. I put in 32 oz of a polyquat 60 algaecide. Then I put in stain free going around the pool slowly (expecting the magic stain lift) and nothing happened. I brushed and brushed. Thirty minutes later when I saw no change, I added another bottle of stain free (3.5# total). I did see a wee bit of change but only in the place where I stopped and poured about 8 oz of acid in one spot. Then I brushed again hoping that the stain free would spread through the pool and and lift the stains. I added 32 oz of Sequa sol to capture the metals. My last view of the pool before the sun went down was not encouraging.

    This morning, the pool looked just as it did last night. I am attaching pictures below. The area in the middle is where I have brushed everything that I missed when vac'ing. Also, our goldendoodle puts quite a bit of dirt in the pool every day...so frustrating! The other photo shows a close up of the area where 8 oz of stain free on the wall.

    I am out of stain free, out of polyquat 60, and out of sequa sol. I am also virtually out of money to be spending on this. What do I do now? If I need to buy more of the stain free, polyquat 60, and sequa sol, I need to do so online where it is cheaper. Here is my concern: while waiting for the stuff I order online to arrive, will the $100 worth of stuff I have already put in be wasted?

    Does the ozonator factor into these results at all? Should I turn it off?

    What do I do now?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    I think you need to concentrate on clearing the water and getting it balanced first. Then deal with the stains.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Thanks for the reply, Richard320. I think I forgot to post that I did *finally* get the water clear and at one point I did have the water balanced. It did continue to have a green hue though. I read that is probably from metals in the pool. I let the FC and CYA bottom out so I could do the AA treatment.

    After that additional information, do you still recommend that I vac and balance again before re-starting the AA treatment?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    Quote Originally Posted by smhill
    Thanks for the reply, Richard320. I think I forgot to post that I did *finally* get the water clear and at one point I did have the water balanced. It did continue to have a green hue though. I read that is probably from metals in the pool. I let the FC and CYA bottom out so I could do the AA treatment.

    After that additional information, do you still recommend that I vac and balance again before re-starting the AA treatment?
    Is it clear now? Then work on the stains.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Heavily stained fg pool with red/rust scale? (pics attac

    It was until I started the AA treatment last night. Then it got cloudy.

    I am unsure as to how to proceed. Can I wait to buy more acid in bulk or will everything I put in yesterday be wasted, or do you think I am close to a breakthrough and that would warrant a dash to the store (which closes in 25 minutes) to get more acid and sequa-sol?
    16.8k gallons, IG fiberglass (installed approximately 2000), 1 HP Challenger Pentair pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (none of the particulars are marked, but it has four 100 sq ft cartridges), UltraPure oxidizer, TF-100 test kit

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